"Lost within the Graphite and Vellum" I was born in Long Island, New York but have spent most of my life in rural Pennsylvania. Just after High School I moved to Pittsburgh to attend the Art Institute for their Music Video program. It was there that my appreciation of art truly began. While I sketched and doodled from time to time I never viewed it much more than a hobby and never pursued it any further. Flash forward about 20 or so years to the Autumn of 2009. I was diagnosed with cancer. It was the biggest shock of my life. Christmas-Eve of that year I spent 8 hours at Hershey Cancer Institute receiving the first of many Chemo treatments. With so much time sitting in one place I began to sketch again. For me there was no better way to pass the time. When your drawing or painting you can only focus on the lines on the paper. Within the graphite and vellum I was in a different world. Able to forget about the tubes, wires and chemical cocktails. In 2010, I underwent a major surgery to have my entire stomach and part of my esophagus removed and since that time I have been cancer free. While many people would focus on the negatives I can honestly say the experience changed my life for the better. I walked away with a better appreciation for life and the short period of time we have here.